I am thrilled to share with you that I was asked to create a contributing recipe for a fellow blogger. This is not just exciting; I feel truly honored!
Stephanie Blackford is a wife, mother of four (4!) and a designer in Denver. Whether you are trying to organize a closet or renovate your whole house, she has got you covered. You should check out her blog The Neighbor’s House. It is full of great design ideas but she is also the funniest person I have ever known. So, even if you don’t need a design overhaul you should read it for the laughs! Trust me.
Three of the six Blackfords recently went on a vacation to Maine. The pictures she posted on Instagram were stunning. They made me want to head there immediately if not sooner. I wasn’t able to do that… but I wanted to. Anywho, she said their hotel had the most amazing popovers that were served with blueberry jam. Would I be able to recreate it? That’s one of my favorite things about food. It can transport you in an instant. As I said, I was honored to be asked to do this so I set out to make her proud.
One teeny, tiny problem- I’ve never had a popover before. I don’t know what a popover is supposed to taste like. I could make one, eat it, like it… but without knowing what it is SUPPOSED to taste like it wouldn’t do much good. But social media can be a wonderful thing. I put out a request about where to taste the best popovers in St. Louis. Three different restaurants were recommended and “The Popover Project” began. This was at the tail end of summer. The girls didn’t have any camps or activities in August so it was great timing.
Our first stop was The Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus. I knew Neiman’s had a restaurant but I had never been. First time for everything! We headed to lunch on a random weekday. I thought we would order popovers, I didn’t realize they serve popovers with strawberry butter instead of plain bread and butter. Score! Now, I know it is Neiman Marcus but I didn’t realize a lunch salad would cost $30. I ordered a very rich, delicious and satisfying appetizer of mushroom ravioli with truffle sauce instead ($13). The popovers were good, the strawberry butter was good and the girls and I had fun getting a little bit fancy and going to lunch.
Stop number two was Blondie’s in downtown St. Louis. We went to the zoo that day then headed to Washington Avenue for popovers. This was especially fun for me because it is where my husband and I lived when we first got married. It was like a little trip down memory lane. Although a lot has changed, I had fun showing the girls where we used to live and places we used to hang out. Then, we headed to Blondie’s. We ordered a basket of three popovers, which came with two spreads. E chose strawberry butter and A chose orange marmalade. Delicious! These were definitely better than the Neiman Marcus popovers and the strawberry butter had a much more pronounced strawberry flavor, which we all liked.
Our final recommendation was Salt & Smoke. This is a BBQ place with two locations. We went to the one on Hampton in South City. I will admit I was very excited to try these because they were savory popovers, bacon and cheese to be exact. They thought we were a little weird that we just came in for popovers and no regular food. They were totally nice and accommodating, I just think it was a first for them. So, again, we ordered three popovers. These came with maple butter. Heaven! The smoky bacon with the sweet butter was just perfection. These were our favorite popovers!
After our trials I had a good idea of what a popover should taste like. We did find that the darker brown they were the more we liked them. I was glad to know that or I’m sure I would have pulled my own popovers out of the oven too quickly.
Stephanie’s blog post with my recipe will be coming out soon. Like I said, go check out her blog here. And I will send an update when my blueberry jam and popover recipes are published! But since the strawberry butter was my favorite (and not part of her original request) I’ll give you that now. Please note- you must have very ripe, juicy red strawberries for the flavor to come through.
3-4 large ripe Strawberries, roughly chopped
6 T Unsalted Butter, softened
pinch of Salt
Puree the strawberries using a blender, immersion blender or food processor.
Using an electric hand mixer, whip the butter in a mixing bowl.
Add 3 T of strawberry puree (pulp and juice) to the butter and mix together.
Add honey and salt and mix until combined.
Serve immediately or store in refrigerator or freezer.
*If you make ahead pull the strawberry butter out of the fridge about 20 minutes before serving so it can soften.
Good on EVERYTHING!